Krishna V. Subbarao
Krishna V. Subbarao received his Ph.D. degree in plant pathology from Louisiana State University in 1989. He held postdoctoral positions at LSU and the University of California at Berkeley, and in 1992 he joined the faculty of the University of California at Davis, where he is a full professor. Dr. Subbarao has developed a highly visible research program that is known for its innovation as well as practical application. He is recognized for his versatile ability to identify research needs and make thorough progress not only in our basic understanding of the system but also in transforming this knowledge into successful disease management tactics. His much-heralded contributions have come from his work on Sclerotinia species and Verticillium dahliae, both significant pathogens of a variety of hosts.
Dr. Subbarao is perhaps best known for his work on the innovative use of a broccoli rotation to suppress Verticillium wilt of cauliflower. Through incorporation of broccoli residue after harvest, populations of V. dahliae were reduced, wilt on cauliflower was suppressed, and significantly lower populations of microsclerotia were added to the soil. The combination of the ID–DI relationship and the root and shoot growth dynamics of cauliflower at different inoculum densities helped determine the length of rotations. Dr. Subbarao further studied root colonization by V. dahliae in cauliflower and broccoli. Despite ephemeral cortical infections, no vascular infection was observed in broccoli, which is regarded as the basis of its immunity. These studies have contributed to the successful management of Verticillium wilt in many crops. Dr. Subbarao is regarded as an important spokesperson in the area of soilborne diseases.